Good news for all coffee lovers in Tottori!
The very first branch of Starbucks had ultimately stepped its feet in Tottori uptown on 23rd May 2015! This marked a historical moment in Japan and in Tottori prefecture. Tottori was the last prefecture to embrace the settlement of the iconic Starbucks chain.
The Shamine Tottori Starbucks is located few minutes away from the train station. From the Tottori station, take the south exit, turn left and walk for about 3 minutes.
Japan is, without doubts, a developed country. The Starbucks coffee chain was able to establish their shops in areas where there is a strong purchasing power as Tokyo, where Starbucks Coffee Shops are rising in every station as mushrooms. Therefore, my common sense told me that there should be at least a Starbucks Coffee in Tottori. Yet, I realized it wasn’t true, when I arrived there, last year: “Starbucks stores are found in all prefectures except Tottori!”.
A shocking yet saddening fact indeed, especially for coffee lovers like me. However, I survived somehow for more than a year without any caffeine of Starbucks coffee flowing in my blood.
According to Japan Times, about 150 people had gathered by midnight to camp out for the opening event, which was scheduled for the next morning. Lately, I figure out from the news, that the line up reached 1,000 people for the opening of Starbucks in Tottori City on Saturday morning. Although I am a big fan of Starbucks, I couldn’t scarify my sleeping time in exchange of free gifts or whatever. But the way how people reacted to the event, explains how much it was impatiently expected. So, I arrived at Starbucks about 8 p.m and found myself queuing at the parking car, standing at approximately 5 meters away from the order counter! In addition, many cars were seen bumper to bumper at the drive-thru lane. Seeing this situation, I might just have given up and returned home. To my surprise, I found myself waiting patiently for about half an hour. Perhaps it was the aroma of coffee which soothed my soul and neutralized my impatience.
It was amazing to see so many staff members (of an estimated count of 20 people) working in a coffee shop! Some as ushers serving free coffee to customers in the queue, some as cashiers, some attended to the drive-thru customers, and a few baristas. Busy yet efficient, professional and attentive. You can be sure that after today, many like me will be seen hanging to the latest and newest coffee in Tottori.
Welcome to Tottori, my buddy “Starbucks”!